Here’s the latest news on how COVID-19 is impacting Chicago and Illinois.
State health officials on Saturday announced 11,891 confirmed and probable COVID-19 infections and an additional 127 coronavirus-related deaths.
Saturday’s new cases accounted for roughly 9.9% of the 120,284 tests reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last day, keeping the seven-day statewide positivity rate at 11.5% — a full percentage point lower than where the state checked in a week ago.
However, that number, which experts use to gauge how rapidly the virus is spreading, is still up from 6.1% a month ago.
Illinois has now logged nearly as many coronavirus cases over the first three weeks of November (about 228,300) than it did over the first seven months of the pandemic.
And though Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday that he saw a possible “pause in our upward movement,” the state on Friday entered Tier 3 of the Democratic governor’s mitigation plan — the strictest set of restrictions implemented since this start of summer.
2:32 p.m. Local businesses brace for impact new COVID restrictions: ‘We’re not Amazon. We’re not Google.’Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times A hairstylist cuts a mans hair at Esquire Barber Shop in Andersonville, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. All of Illinois was placed into tier 3 Coronavirus mitigation, requiring many businesses to change how they operate.
Solidarity Drive on the Museum Campus was especially quiet Friday morning, the first day in which new restrictions aimed at curbing the COVID-19 spike took effect.
With museums closed to the public until further notice, the downtown campus was quiet, as just a few fishermen cast lines into Lake Michigan and three men rode skateboards along the waterfront.
Casinos are temporarily shuttered too, as evidenced by the desolate parking lot of the Rivers Casino in northwest suburban Des Plaines.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced earlier this week that, as of Friday, a host of new restrictions would be placed on public spaces in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Big box retailers must limit their capacity to 25% — down from the 50% capacity still allowed in grocery stores and pharmacies.
Admittance to gyms is also being crunched. No more indoor group classes are allowed, masks are mandatory and capacity also is capped at 25%. It’s a tough balance, some fitness center owners say.
“We understand that we’re part of a bigger system. We need to keep everyone safe,” said Tony Marquez, owner of the EFK Martial Arts in Edgewater. “There are guidelines that we’re trying to follow as best we can, from the city and state, but it does make it very difficult to make ends meet.”
2:30 p.m. Chicago R&B star Jeremih is out of ICU after bout with COVID-19: report
Chicago R&B artist Jeremih’s health has appeared to have made a turn for the better this weekend.
Jeremih was transferred to a regular hospital room after he spent at least the last week in an intensive care unit undergoing treatment for COVID-19, TMZ reported Saturday.
The positive development comes just two days after Variety reported that Jeremih had been removed from a ventilator, though his agent said the native South Sider’s condition was still dire.
TMZ first reported Nov. 14 that Jeremih had been put on a ventilator in a Chicago hospital as he battled the coronavirus. The news prompted Chance the Rapper and several other celebrities to rally around the 33-year-old singer.
9:02 a.m. Donald Trump, Jr. tests positive for COVID-19
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of President Donald Trump, was quarantining Friday after learning he has been infected with the coronavirus, a spokesperson said.
The younger Trump learned his diagnosis at the beginning of the week and has had no symptoms, said the spokesperson, who was granted anonymity to discuss private medical information.
Trump Jr. is following all medically recommended guidelines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the spokesperson added.
The 42-year-old is the latest member of the president’s family to become infected with a virus that has killed more than 250,000 Americans and infected nearly 12 million others.
9:00 a.m. By the time you finish reading this article, another 15 Illinois residents will be infected with the coronavirus
Illinois reported another 13,012 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 infections on Friday, pushing the state’s total number of cases diagnosed in November to 216,422.
That means the first 20 days of this month saw nearly as many cases as the entire first seven months of the pandemic.
November has averaged more than 10,821 new cases each day — or a new infection roughly every 8 seconds.
Friday’s daily caseload – the state’s third highest since the first Illinois case was reported in late January – came on a day when 126 deaths were also reported. That’s down a bit from the fatality counts of the previous two days but up sharply from October’s mortality counts.
Friday also marked the first day of new statewide restrictions aimed at curbing the resurgence of the coronavirus.
“The core philosophy here is that if we all stay home as much as possible — if we all avoid the trips outside the house that we don’t need to take right now — we can fight this recent surge and turn things around for our health care workers and hospital systems who are facing an increasingly dangerous situation, across the state,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at his Friday briefing on the virus.
New casesState health officials reported another 13,012 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 126 deaths Friday. The World Health Organization has recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus among staff based at its headquarters, including five people who worked on the premises and were in contact with one another.
Analysis & Commentary
9:01 a.m. Making threats of violence undermines our self-government
Making threats of violence against our governor’s family should simply not happen in Illinois.
Unfortunately, such threats are growing more common across the nation. It’s up to the rest of us to tamp down any suggestion of violence whenever we run across it.
On Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said his family received a series of “hateful and threatening” messages after a debunked photo went viral purporting to show his daughter eating at a Chicago restaurant. Pritzker said the threats affected his family’s Thanksgiving plans.
“Hateful and threatening” messages? Over something that didn’t even happen? Such threats eat away at the cohesion that holds our city, state and nation together.
It’s not just Illinois. Across the nation, store employees are threatened when they ask customers to wear masks. Health care workers are threatened when they encourage pandemic safety measures.